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Statewide Trails Strategic Plan
Statewide Trails Strategic Plan

​Thank you for sharing your voice!​ 

As part of the “Colorado the Beautiful” initiative, Colorado Parks and Wildlife's State Trails Program prepared a Statewide Trails Strategic Plan. During this process, valuable public input was utilized​. 

The Trails program awards approximately $8 to $9 million annually for trail grants that benefit motorized and non-motorized recreation in Colorado. ​Each year people enjoy Colorado’s superb trails approximately 227 million times for walking, hiking, biking, horse riding, ATV and snowmobile recreation. That is roughly the same as all other types of outdoor recreation combined in Colorado. ​

Colorado the Beautiful​

The Governor's "Colorado the Beautiful" plan outlined four initiatives to be addressed and completed as the first four steps toward the achievement of this ambitious plan.

  1. Identification of 16 critical trail segments in 2016 (Completed)
    The Department of Natural Resources, GOCO and CPW has identified 16 critical trail gaps, missing trail segments and undeveloped trails across the state to elevate those to priority status for public awareness, funding and completion.

  2. Colorado Trails System (CTS) mapping project (Completed)
    CPW will develop a comprehensive outdoor recreation map of trails throughout the state that will eventually include all trails in Colorado.

  3. Colorado's Outdoor Recreation Industry Office (CORIO)  (Completed)
    This office will provide a central state point of contact, advocacy, resources and support for the diverse constituents, businesses, communities and groups that rely on the continued health of Colorado's Outdoor Recreation Industry.  Find additional information at
  4. Colorado Trails Strategic Plan (Completed)
    CPW, with our partners, move the state toward a key, unifying vision for outdoor recreation and access to achieve Governor Hickenlooper's vision of having every Coloradan living within a 10-minute walk of a park, trail or open space.​

Key points for the development of a new Colorado Trails Strategic Plan

  • Includes multiple opportunities for public involvement and input.

  • Several points for review and input by CPW and DNR staff, the State Recreation Trails Committee, and the CPW Commission. 

  • SRTC approves intermediate and final versions before sending to CPW Commission for final approval.

  • CPW has a solid body of statewide research that is "fresh".  Intent is to use that research – 2014 SCORP, 2015 CPW Strategic Plan – to save time and expense.

  • Need for the SRTC to reach out to stakeholder groups and the public to dialogue about the plan.  The successful implementation of the plan depends on that outreach effort.

  • Process includes both strategic goals and objectives and programmatic actions for non-motorized and motorized efforts.

​​Trails Strategic Plan Development​ Schedule 

​​​Kick Off Meeting- COMPLETED
Date: November 9, 2015

​Kick off meeting with CPW's Planning Section to discuss and establish the process and tentative schedule for the development of CPW's Trails Strategic Plan.
Focus of this effort will be an update and revision of Colorado's 2000 State Trails Strategic Plan "On Nature's Trail", many aspects of that earlier plan are still valid and will become part of the 2016 Strategic Plan.
Will compile various trail related data from surveys and assessment projects including the 2009 Corona Parks Market Assessment Study, the 2014 Statewide Comprehensive Outdoor Recreation Plan (Government and Public Surveys), the 2014-15 Colorado Parks and Wildlife Strategic Plan and the 2014 GOCO Strategic Plan.​

Focus Group Questions Developed - COMPLETED
Date: November 24, 2015 

CPW Trails and Planning staff will use that data to inform and assist in composing Focus Group questions related to current trails issues in Colorado.​

Focus Group Meeting - COMPLETED
February 2016

Four focus group meetings will be convened in each of the four CPW management regions to gather feedback on the questions compiled by CPW Trails and Planning staff related to the Strategic Plan update.

Information derived from the Focus Groups together with the trails data and information compiled from the CPW studies and surveys completed since the adoption of Colorado's 2000 State Trails Strategic Plan "On Nature's Trail" will form the basis for the Trails Strategic Plan update.​​

  • February 9th – Durango
  • February 10th – Grand Junction
  • February 29th – Colorado Springs
  • ​March ​2nd – Denver​​

Phone-In Town Hall - COMPLETED​
Dates: March, 29 2016 7:00pm to 8:00

​The “Phone-In Town Hall” is designed to give interested stakeholders or indeed anyone from the public an opportunity to ask questions about the Statewide Trails Strategic Plan and the State Trails Program.  The town hall format uses a question and answer approach, where people call in, ask a question and staff from Colorado Parks and Wildlife answer those questions.

View Phone-In Town Hall​ polling results.

Draft Strategic Plan update - COMPLETED​
Dates: Late March and April, 2016

The draft Strategic Plan update will be presented to the State Recreation Trails Committee for review and comment while at the same time posted on the CPW web site and open to public Comment for two weeks.

Online Public comment​​ - COMPLETED​
Date: Late July

Online (website) public comment/input form. 

​Public Forums - COMPLETED​
Date: July

CPW will convene two additional meetings to be held in July, one on the west slope and one in the Denver area.

Final edits to the Final Draft of the 2016-2026 Statewide Trails Strategic Plan - COMPLETED​
​Dates: Late July

Final edits to the draft plan will be completed following the public review period.

Draft of Plan Presented to State Recreational Trails Committee​ - COMPLETED
Dates: July 11, 2016

Final Draft of the 2016-2026 Statewide Trails Strategic Plan will be presented to the State Recreational Trails Committee and possible adoption on or before September 30.

​Commission Presentation
Date: September 8th, Creede, CO
Commission presentation and adoption.

History of Colorado's previous Trails Strategic Plans

Since the establishment of the Trails Program in 1971, several Trails Programs Strategic Plans have been adopted. The last entitled "On Nature's Trail, A Guide to the Future of Colorado's Statewide Trails System​" was adopted in 2000 by the State Parks Board. On Nature's Trail offered seven strategic goals and over 130 new program initiatives. 92% of those initiatives have been successfully completed, most are now routine programmatic or operational activities handled by program staff on an annual basis.

CPW utilizes this website to provide updates on its progress to renew and update Colorado's Trails Strategic Plan.​